By Tracey Essex

Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter was awarded the contract to operate the Shelter beginning November 1, 2012. forever changing the circumstances for homeless dogs and cats. It’s been a long journey, filled with triumphs and tribulations, but trust me, this is a story with a happy ending! Read about how the Friends of Palm Springs Animal Shelter has made a tremendous difference for the City’s homeless dogs and cats … and how you can too!

For many years, the City of Palm Springs managed animal control from a modest shelter near the airport. The non-descript building housed the City’s homeless animals, and the small staff did its best to rehome the homeless. Everyone knew the current shelter needed to be replaced, but from where would the money come? A small group of citizens, focused on compassion toward homeless, injured and unwanted animals approached the City of Palm Springs, with an offer of help. This cadre of concerned citizens began the hard work of raising money for a new shelter. The year that the New York Yankees won the World Series, the year that President Clinton green lighted Operation Desert Strike, the year that the Eastern Seaboard was pummeled by blizzards – this was the year that Friends of Palm Springs Animal Shelter was formed and began its work to ensure a better future for Palm Springs companion animals.

Over the next decade and a half, Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter would tell the community of the plight of its companion animals and the need for a new shelter. While the start may have been slow, momentum grew, and the City of Palm Springs began plans for a new state-of-the-art animal shelter. Friends of the Palm Springs Animals Shelter raised funds to help build the shelter, providing $600,000 in cash to the City and another $100,000 to outfit a full surgical/medical suite. Friends also raised money to purchase high quality, commercial grade laundry fixtures, dog beds, furniture for the entire building, a security system, plus many other items. Construction began in 2010 and in 2011 the shelter opened its doors.


Entering its second year of management of the Palm Springs Shelter, Friends continues to attempt to find a home for every adoptable animal. Utilizing every available space, building and expanding its foster network, and hosting adoption events, the population at the Shelter currently exceeds 500 animals. Each day, Palm Springs residents appear at the door with an animal in hand. Financial hardships, unyielding landlords, strays roaming the streets – these and many more animals are brought to the Shelter. Each animal is thoroughly examined and medical care is provided. Expenses continue to mount, yet Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter are committed to creating a progressive, compassionate Shelter. This is a benchmark operation for open admission shelters throughout the United States.

Now it’s your chance – step up and be a hero to the homeless animals here in our Valley. Local community leader Harold Matzner has offered to match all donations made to the Friends of Palm Springs Animal Shelter through the month of September, up to $125,000. Your donation can work twice as hard! Visit the “Friends” website:

How You Can Help:
Make your tax deductible donation to the Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter
Foster a homeless cat, kitten, puppy or dog
Volunteer by calling 760.416.5718
Adopt! There are more than 500 cats and dogs waiting for your love.
Include Friends of Palm Springs Animal Shelter in your estate plan

Volunteer Betty Ruttan works on “Art from the Animals”, where dogs create artwork using their paws.

Shelter Director Patrice Brayer with artwork donated by Artist Shawn Savage. With each sale, Savage donates to the Shelter.